BAFTA bosses slam their own awards because of ‘lack of diversity’

BAFTA’s chief executive has blasted its own film awards shortlist for a lack of diversity.

Movie fans were furious that there are no nominations for people of colour in any of the major acting categories.

They were also unhappy there are no women nominated for best director for the seventh year in a row.

Told the list “seems very white” on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, BAFTA boss Amanda Berry agreed it represented a failure for the arts charity.

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Amanda said: “I’m very disappointed. I’m going to totally agree with you because that’s how I felt when I first saw the list and this isn’t being disrespectful to anyone who has been nominated because it’s an incredibly strong list this year.

“If you look at the director category this year in which I hoped we would see at least one female director, that is an incredibly strong list.

“When I’m looking at the performance categories and the lack of diversity, I think you positioned it very well.

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“BAFTA has a role to play here, it can’t tell the industry which films to green light and who to hire but what it can do is make sure it is finding and supporting talented people and giving them every opportunity to succeed.

“Talent is everywhere but opportunity is not.

“A couple of years ago we did an initiative to support female directors and actually looking at the list this year we have decided we are going to do it again.

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“We need to up our efforts and keep the pressure on the industry to create these opportunities.”

Joker leads the nominations with 11 while Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman and Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A time In Hollywood have 10.

Joaquin Phoenix (Joker) will go head to head with Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Adam Driver (Marriage Story), Taron Egerton (Rocketman) and Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes) for Leading Actor.

And Irish stars Jessie Buckley (Wild Rose) and Saoirse Ronan (Little Women) are battling Charlize Theron (Bombshell), Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story), and Renee Zellweger (Judy) for Leading Actress.

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